Surgical management of pulmonary artery sling in children

Matthew S Yong, Yves d'Udekem, Christian P Brizard, Terry Robertson, Colin F Robertson, Robert Weintraub, Igor E Konstantinov
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2013, 145 (4): 1033-1039

OBJECTIVES: Pulmonary artery (PA) sling is a rare vascular anomaly associated with congenital tracheal stenosis. The natural history is poor and these patients often require early surgical intervention. We describe our experience with repair of this condition.

METHODS: From 1984 to 2011, 21 patients with PA sling underwent repair at the Royal Children's Hospital (median age, 5.9 months). PA sling was associated with compression of the trachea in all patients. Tracheal surgery was required in 12 (57.1%) patients. All patients had an echocardiogram, and concomitant repair of coexisting cardiac anomalies was performed in 6 (28.6%, 6/21) patients.

RESULTS: Operative mortality was 14.3% (3/21), occurring at 19 days, 4.4 months, and 5 months after surgery. Operative mortality for the first 10 years was 22.2% (1984-1993; 2/9), the next 10 years was 14.3% (1994-2003; 1/7), and 0% for the most recent 7 years (2004-2011; 0/5). All deaths occurred in patients requiring tracheal repair (25%, 3/12). No deaths have occurred since 2004 with introduction of the slide tracheoplasty technique. One (5.6%, 1/18) late death occurred at 8 months after repair. After tracheal repair, intervention for excessive granulations and tracheomalacia was necessary in 6 (50%, 6/12) patients. Median follow-up was 8 years (mean, 8.6 ± 6.4 years; range, 5 months to 20.6 years), and all survivors (100%, 17/17) remain asymptomatic.

CONCLUSIONS: Children with PA sling who do not require tracheal surgery have excellent outcomes. Mortality is determined by the need for tracheal surgery. However, with the advent of the slide tracheoplasty technique, mortality can be reduced. Survival beyond 1 year after surgery offers excellent prognosis.

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